Shares of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) hit an all-time high Friday after the entertainment giant turned in better-than-expected quarterly results last week.
So what has investors so excited?
First, revenue grew 9.6% to $10.55 billion, beating analysts’ estimates, which called for sales of $10.49 billion.
Even better, CEO Robert Iger started off the earnings conference call by highlighting non-GAAP earnings per share, which rose 36% from the year-ago period to $0.79, “driven primarily by studio, parks and resorts, and media networks.”
Of course, that wasn’t particularly surprising considering those businesses historically represent the lion’s share of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s revenue and profits anyway, but the fact remains that each of Disney’s segments improved considerably over last year.
Media networks, for one, managed to grow operating income by 8% to $1.862 billion, while Studio Entertainment swung to a $118 million operating profit from last year’s loss of $84 million (remember John Carter, anyone?). The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) is also enjoying its 80% stake in ESPN more than ever as growth at the sports network led a $224 million increase in operating income from its Cable Networks.
On a more worrisome note, income from Broadcasting fell $91 million to $138 million as a result of higher prime-time programming costs as well as a decrease in advertising revenue from lower ratings at Disney’s ABC television network.
Meanwhile, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s Consumer Products division grew income by 35% to $200 million, and earnings attributable to Parks and Resorts grew a whopping 73% to $383 million on record attendance.
Finally, while Disney’s Interactive gaming segment continued its losing streak (sigh), it did manage to lose just $54 million in the quarter, or 23% less than the same period last year. However, as fellow Fool Demitrios Kalogeropoulos pointed out recently, that could easily change with the August launch of The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s Infinity, which the House of Mouse hopes will be able to effectively compete against Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)‘s wildly popular Skylanders franchise.
Now that doesn’t mean the folks at The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS) Interactive won’t have their work cut out for them; remember, Activision just told us Skylanders was the No. 1 video game franchise in America last quarter in terms of total revenue including merchandise. Still, Disney’s massive stable of available characters certainly makes for an intriguing game concept:
Even so, Interactive was only responsible for less than 2% of Disney’s total revenue last quarter, so any success there would simply be icing on the cake for investors. Additionally, The Walt Disney Company (NYSE:DIS)’s recently announced partnership to grant video game rights for Star Wars story lines to Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ:EA) should allow it to benefit by licensing its properties without assuming the work and risk related to the actual creation of the games.